The proposal to impose mandatory pregnancy tests on female trainees prior to undergoing National Service training is a violation of a person’s right to privacy and bodily integrity. In fact, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, in a statement dated 12 May 2010, announced that “As a policy, the Ministry is against conducting pregnancy tests as a requirement for all female NS participants as there are issues of privacy involved. Under current laws, any procedures that involve children under the age of 18 require parental consent.”
The proposal would clearly be a disproportionate response to the 6 girls that gave birth during the programme, as opposed to the thousands that have undergone the training.
The Defense Ministry should instead look into expanding the Social and Reproductive Health Education Programme for the National Service Training Programme ([email protected] Programme) that was launched by the former Minister, DS Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, in February 2011.
Instead of violating privacy rights, we believe that the Defense Ministry has the unique opportunity to address the issue by empowering our youths with the knowledge they need to develop a lifelong positive attitude towards their social and reproductive health through comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights education.
Sisters in Islam
24 July 2013